11 years Santorini. 11 years is a long time between drinks.
I came to this island as a very young adult over a decade ago and was taken by her beauty. As (I’d like to say!) a much more mature and widely travelled adult I returned this month to kickoff my summer holidays and found Santorini to be more beautiful than I remember.
You just become mesmerised by the sheer beauty and island atmosphere.
Whitewashed buildings, blue rooftops, sparkling clear waters, the ominous volcanic history and quaint cobblestone streets.
Add to that a Mediterranean feast of food to die for and a people and hospitality that is warm and welcoming and our three days here amounted to pure and utter bliss and total relaxation.
But Santorini along with the other islands are suffering with Greece in the midst of a crippling financial crisis. It was worrying to note and be told by locals, that tourism – perhaps the countries only savior – was significantly down. In numbers and also just in the nature of tourist spend
Restaurants are begging for you to dine with them and shop keepers are… Well to say more in your face than I’d previously noticed in these parts over the years, an understatement…
We powered on of course and did our best to top up Greek stocks by shopping at the boutiques in Fira Town, having a fish foot bath and heading to Oia to watch its famous sunset. I did my bit by purchasing some items made by local designers – as a new EU citizen, I felt it was my moral obligation!
Dining on gyros and dolmades, fried cheese and tzaziki, yoghurt and baklava, lobster and calamari… I left santorini perhaps a little heavier than when I arrived!
We stayed at the Cosmopolitan Suites, a Small Luxury Hotel of the World in Fira Town right on the Caldera (cliff face). The location, facilities, staff, pool and view was amazing! I recommend it for your next trip.
And I hope I get to visit again soon too!
Signing off from Rome,